Jose Diaz Network Websites
Mr. Diazís ELL Classroom Home Home Goals Goals Language proficiency Language proficiency Instructing ELLs Instructing ELLs FAQs FAQs Why ELL Why ELL Stages Stages Parents Parents Teachers Teachers About Me About Me

Quick Reference Guide for Teachers

You are key! No two ELLs (English Language Learners) are the same!  You are key to their success when you differentiate!  Most of what you already do benefits ELLs.


• Provide a welcoming, safe environment. • Assign a willing buddy • Check textbook kits. Many publishers have resources designed so that ELLs may participate in lessons even if they have   limited English. • ELLs may not speak for weeks.  This “silent phase”is normal. Be patient and don’t force. • Learn ELL’s language level. • Learn about the student’s language and culture.  Introduce the ELL’s home country to the class. • Grades: Modify content, assignments, and assessment to allow ELLs to succeed.  ELLs cannot fail solely due to lack of English proficiency. • Gather resources: CDs & flash cards. • Seat the student near the front What if the ELL doesn’t speak any English? • Use gestures, flashcards, visuals, and repetitive commands. • Put ELLs in cooperative groups. • Provide opportunities for ELLs to learn American culture (games, word play, flashcards, nursery-rhymes, songs, holidays.) • Give ELLs a picture dictionary (check library or ESL teacher.) • Simplify your language.  Speak slowly. Repeat! • Use software like Rosetta Stone. • Encourage parents to read aloud in home language. This print awareness will facilitate English literacy. • Very important: Include ELL in academic instruction.  Teach academic vocabulary and syntax What if an ELL speaks English, but lacks literacy skills? • Conversational English usually precedes reading & writing. • Phonics: ELLs need to know the meanings of words used to teach phonics. • ELLs may come to you not knowing that print conveys meaning.  Or ELLs may be from a language that is read right to left, or top to bottom (Arabic, Chinese) or uses characters.  Give ELLs a lot of exposure to print concepts. • Teach and build sight word vocabulary. • Provide or record books on tape, CD, computer, ipods, ipads, or tablets.  Read aloud! • Become familiar with language conflicts (for ex., vowels in Spanish are long so ELLs may have trouble recognizing short vowel   sounds.) Arabic has only 3 vowels and is written backwards. • Be particularly sensitive to English idioms and multiple meaning words. • As ELLs gain letter/sound knowledge, provide many opportunities to practice reading and build automaticity. • Modify instruction and/or assessment.
Entering (Level 1)/Beginning (Level 2) 

-Use lots of visuals and demonstrations

-Reduce stress.

-Allow wait time!

-Use hands-on activities 

-Establish consistent classroom routines

-Use yes/no questions

-Use Language Experience Approach

-Use cooperative learning

-Simplify your vocabulary

-Watch idioms

-Reduce the # of spelling/vocabulary words

-Reduce the # of objectives

-Build background and teach American culture

-Connect learning to student’s life

-Check for understanding

-Repeat and rephrase

-Allow ELL to work on computer.

-Provide opportunities to develop phonemic


-Provide opportunities for ELL to learn everyday


-Include ELL in content

-Label important words


-Allow student to point to answer

-Allow student to illustrate answers

-Oral tests

-Extended time

Developing (Level 3)/Expanding (Level 4)  Developing (Level 3)/Expanding (Level 4) -Use lots of visuals and demonstrations - Allow wait time! -Use hands-on activities -Establish consistent classroom routines -Use Language Experience Approach -Use cooperative learning -Simplify your vocabulary -Watch idioms -Reduce the # of spelling/vocabulary words -Reduce the # of objectives: depth instead of breadth -Reduce reading burden by shortening assignments -Use graphic organizers -Go over key vocabulary before reading -Build background and teach American culture -Check for understanding -In math, ELL may be familiar with metric system, not our English system. -Teach English skills in all content areas (for ex., teach how to use the index of the math book). Assessment -Extended time on tests -Word banks on tests -Reduced writing requirements -Matching tests -Oral tests -Group projects -Labeling  
Modifications and Accomodations Modifications are required for all ELLs, if needed ELLs cannot fail because they lack English proficiency!
HELLO for Teachers

HELLO stands for Helping English Language Learners Orientation

Here's a Powerpoint presentation on working with ELLs.  This presentation is for teachers. Objectives: To develop an understanding of the definition of an English Language Learner.  To learn how to create an inclusive, sensitive environment for ELLs entering your classroom. To distinguish between the myths and realities of second language acquisition. To learn how to model and teach learning strategies.  To learn how to develop sheltered content lesson plans.  To help teachers of ELLs to identify proven strategies to implement in the classroom.  PPT Presentation
Differentiation for ELLs


1. Clarify key concepts and

generalizations to ensure that all

learners gain powerful

understandings that serve as

the foundation for future

learning. Teachers are

encouraged to identify the

essential concepts to ensure all

learners [even

those with a significantly

modified curriculum] have the

chance to learn the most

important, “enduring”


2. Use assessment as a

teaching tool to extend versus

merely measure instruction.

Assessment should occur

before, during and following the

instructional episode to check

for understanding and help

refine instruction.

3. Emphasize critical and

creative thinking as a goal in

lesson design. The tasks,

activities, and procedures for

students should require that

students understand and apply

meaning. Instruction may

require supports, additional

motivation, varied tasks,

materials, or equipment for

different students in the


4. Engaging all learners is

essential. Teachers are

encouraged to strive for

development of lessons that are

engaging and motivating for a

diverse class of students. Vary

tasks within instruction as well

as across students. In other

words, an entire session for

students should not consist of

all drill and practice, or any

single structure or activity.

5. Provide a balance between

teacher-assigned and student-

selected tasks. A balanced

working structure is optimal in a

differentiated classroom. Based

on pre-assessment information,

the balance will vary from class-

to-class as well as lesson-to-

lesson. Teachers should assure

that students have choices in

their learning.

 ·      The teacher is clear about

what is essential in subject


·      The teacher understands,

appreciates, and builds upon

student differences.

·      Assessment and instruction

are inseparable.

·      The teacher adjusts

content, process and product in

response to student readiness,

interests and learning profile.

·      All students participate in

age-appropriate, respectful


·      Students and teachers

collaborate in learning.

·      Goals of a differentiated

classroom are maximum growth

and individual success.

·      Flexibility is the hallmark of

a differentiated classroom.

English Language Learners Resources

Welcome Teachers Teachers